Queen Elizabeth II to Name New Cunard Ship

| Oct. 4, 2010

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will name the new Cunard Ship October 11 in Southampton U.K.

Cunard line took delivery of Queen Elizabeth, the newest addition to the Cunard Line of ships, on September 30, last Thursday. The handover ceremony took place onboard the new ship at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. During this ceremony the flag of Italy was lowered and replaced by the flag called the Blue Ensign, the official flag for the register of British shipping. President of Cunard line, Peter Shanks gave a speech and was handed the keys to the new ship, figuratively speaking.

After the ceremony the ship sailed from Trieste, Italy, on the northeast coast and will berth at the Ocean Cruise Terminal in Southampton on October 8, Friday. I will be arriving in Southampton and boarding the Queen Elizabeth on October 9, Saturday, and will devote two days to inspecting the new vessel before the grand naming ceremony on Monday, October 11.

Cunard line is very proud to announce that her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, will preside over the naming ceremony of the ship that bears her name. This will be the third ship in the Cunard fleet, the oldest being the Queen Mary two which was launched in 2004 and followed by the Queen Victoria launched in 2007. Her Majesty performed the naming ceremony for Queen Mary 2 while the Queen Victoria was named by Camilla, Duchess of Windsor.

The same Queen Elizabeth was present at the launching of the first ship named Queen Elizabeth, but she was only 12 at the time. That ship was named after her mother, Queen Elizabeth I, on September 27, who officiated over the naming ceremony in 1938. The first ship named by Queen Elizabeth II was the Caronia, affectionately known as the "Green Goddess," in 1947 when she was Princess Elizabeth.

This new "Queen Elizabeth" will be the third ship to bear the name, however Cunard line chose not to name the ship Queen Elizabeth 3 because they wanted to pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth that was introduced in 1938 and subsequently replaced by Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1968. This new Queen Elizabeth has been designed to reflect the original Art Deco decor that made the original Queen Elizabeth vessel famous. In addition, many Cunard memorabilia artifacts that were newly acquired by Cunard will be on display on this new ship. In terms of the floor plan, the Queen Elizabeth is nearly identical to the Queen Victoria, her sister ship, but the interior décor is entirely different.

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cafe carinthia   library   britannia club

There are a few enhancements in the new ship that are not present aboard Queen Victoria however. One of them is the Garden Lounge, a large conservatory type room that was inspired by the glass houses of the Kew Gardens in London. It has a magnificent vaulted glass ceiling and at night time will become a supper club featuring different styles of cuisine throughout each cruise.

Another new addition is the Britannia Club Restaurant for passengers booked into specific suites. These suites are a stepping stone between the two upper tier categories, the Queen's Grill, and the Princess Grill, and the rest of the ship which dines in the Britannia Dining Room. The Britannia Club Restaurant features the same cuisine as in the Britannia Dining Room, however it is served in open dining and cooked a la minute.

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royal court theater   grand lobby   britannia dining room

In charge of the culinary offerings on all Cunard ships is Michelin-starred chef Jean-Marie Zimmermann who has designed the menus and recipes for all of Cunard's restaurants. Queen Elizabeth offers the same selection of restaurants as the other Cunard ships with the exception of Todd English being replaced the "The Verandah" restaurant.

On the new Queen Elizabeth, The Verandah will offer views of the ocean and the Grand Lobby, while the art murals and the vintage menus are inspired by on the first two Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, both put into passener service after World War II. The restaurant will feature French cuisine from the regions of Périgord, Pyrenees, Alsace, Bresse and Burgundy. Most of the purveyors of the food served on board are located in France.

The Games Deck, named after the same deck as on the original Queen Elizabeth, is located fully forward on deck 11 but will be protected by a glass housing to keep the wind away. The games offered onboard include paddle tennis, croquet on a new lawn, which also serves as a traditional British bowling green.

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Commodore Club rendering   Commodore Club view   The Yacht Club
queens grill   britannia club   britannia dining room

Queen Elizabeth's Maiden Voyage Season

Queen Elizabeth's maiden 2010 season will consist of six voyages before she begins her first world cruise in January of 2011.Her Maiden Voyage will sail from Southampton on October 12, 2010, on 13-night voyage to Vigo and Lisbon, Portugal, Seville Spain, the Canary Islands and Madeira. Fares start from $2,995 per person.

The maiden voyage will be followed by five celebratory inaugural voyages:

Mediterranean Premiere - A 14-day voyage departing Southampton on 25 October 2010 with calls in Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples (for Capri and Pompeii), Cartagena and Gibraltar. Fares start from $2,795 per person.

Aegean Introduction - An 18-day voyage departing Southampton on 8 November 2010 calling on Malaga (for Granada), Malta (Valletta), Venice, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Athens (Piraeus) and Alicante. Fares from $3,295 per person.

Gallic Debut - A five-day voyage departing Southampton on 26 November 2010 with maiden calls to Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Brussels/Bruges (for Zeebrugge) and Cherbourg. Fares start from $1,195 per person.

Iberian Discovery - A 13-day voyage departing Southampton on 1 December 2010 with calls to Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Seville (Cadiz), Gran Canaria (Las Palmas), Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), La Palma (Santa Cruz de La Palma) and Madeira. Fares start from $2,395 per person.

Festive Debut - A 22-day holiday voyage departing Southampton on 14 December 2010 with calls in the Caribbean, including Madeira (Funchal), Tortola, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada). Fares start from $4,795 per person.

World Cruise:

For her first world cruise, Queen Elizabeth will circumnavigate the globe from her home port of Southampton, cross the Atlantic to New York (where US and Canadian guests have the option of embarking from New York, Fort Lauderdale or - after the ship transits the Panama Canal - Los Angeles).

From the west coast, Queen Elizabeth will continue westward to Sydney via the South Pacific and New Zealand. Next she sees Asia including Singapore, Bali, Vietnam and Thailand and another overnight stay in Hong Kong.

The ship sails on to Malaysia and India before calling on Dubai (an overnight stay) followed by Oman before transiting the Suez Canal. In the Mediterranean she takes in Egypt, Greece, Italy and Portugal before returning to Southampton.

From the U.K., North American guests can catch the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing to complete their 103-day circumnavigation of the globe.

Full World Voyage fares start from $19,995 per person. Segment voyages range from 12 to 25-days, including New York to Los Angeles (16 days), Los Angeles to Sydney (23 days), Sydney to Singapore (25 days), Singapore to Dubai (12 days) and Dubai to Southampton (19 days). Guests can enjoy a greater value by combining two or more consecutive segments. Segment fares start from $2,545 per person.

Hail Queen Elizabeth, may she reign long and prosper.

See our previous article on the Queen Elizabeth Shipyard Visit.

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